Wrecks and Relics – The Indispensable Guide to Britain's Aviation Heritage

Published: September 12th, 2014     
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Author: Ken Ellis
Reviewed by: John Noack - IPMS# 23017
ISBN #: 978 0859 79177 9
Other Publication Information: Hardcover, 368 pages, 200+ photos
Price: $36.95
Product / Stock #: #24
Product provided by: Specialty Press

If you ever wish to locate an aircraft in Great Britain that is on display in a museum, in the hands of a private collector, undergoing restoration, or moldering away in a field, this is your go-to reference. Author Ken Ellis has obviously made it his life's work to locate, document, and track the 5000+ aircraft that fall into one or more of these categories within the bounds of the British Isles. Over 700 types - ranging from front line Lightnings to obscure one-of-a-kind homebuilts - are found within, sorted by geographical location. Of course, all the great museums - Duxford, the FAAM in Yeovilton, the RAF Museum in London - are represented, but who knew that a Westland Wasp was being kept in the hands of a private collector in Kirkham ("on the A583 between Blackpool and Preston", p.94).

Will this book be the ultimate modelers' reference guide? No, but that's obviously not its intent. However, if you EVER find yourself fortunate enough to travel across the pond, you might very well use this book as an adjunct to a good GPS. When I spent 2 weeks in Birmingham some years ago, I would love to have had this book with me.

And, truth be told, there are some modeling applications for this weighty tome. I've scanned one of the more than 200 color photos interspersed through the book for your consideration. This USAF Phantom, with wings stacked alongside and tire- (tyre) weighted tarpaulins, would make for an interesting diorama.

In summary, Mr. Ellis' exhaustive efforts to track the comings and goings of Britain's vast aeronautical history deserves your attention, doubly so if you're ever headed that way. My thanks to Specialty Press for the opportunity to review this title for IPMS/USA.

  • F-4 Phantom - Wreck or Relic?
    F-4 Phantom - Wreck or Relic?

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